Today's discussion:

We are telling the wrong story about Canada

Anecdotes of oppression are the new national narrative—a story of Canada as a settler colonial nation, steeped in a racist history, whose people have been oppressed, and whose even ostensibly positive policies like official multiculturalism merely hide exclusionary tendencies. Patriotism has become politicized.

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Comments (18)

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The Hub Staff

Christopher Dummit discuss the ways in which Canada has many negative national narratives in present day—how can Canadian history be portrayed to tell a more unifying historical narrative?

7th December 2023 at 8:33 am
Gordon Divitt

Let me start by disclosing I as born in Scotland and the history I was taught some 65+ years ago glorified Empire. What I learned after school forced me to see that there was a different story – especially when seen from the view point of the various indigenous populations

In my opinion what is missing from present day debates over whether genocide etc occurred is the culpability of centuries of British control over the settler/colonizer immigrants who took over Canada, USA, Australia, New Zealand and, eventually South Africa. Throw in the experience of India and China and one sees a very distinct pattern of exploitation and oppression of native populations for economic gains.

Awful as these colonizations were I see no case for modern residents of these countries to inherit the guilt personally which is now being assigned to populations who came in good faith and strived to build a future. Recognition of the sins of the past is, of course, necessary as is some form of restoration but by wrapping it all in one big ideologic shame fest so muddies the waters and contributes to alienation that any meaningful solution gets lost in the rhetoric

Acknowledge, commemorate and teach the the terrible shortcomings of our fore-bearers, put it behind us and move forward cooperatively to right those wrongs which can be righted and consign to history everything which belongs there

7th December 2023 at 11:45 am
Faye Perkins

More of us need to speak up so that our cultural heritage is not lost. It still amazes me that most people in Canada do not want to hear about or promote Glenn Gould, and this includes the CBC. (I personally vote CBC as one of the worst marketers in the world – because they have never had to focus on ‘markets’.)

As a manager of Glenn Gould’s Estate, we were forced to sell his commercial holdings to an American company because no Canadian company could ‘see’ his future value.

I’m with you and will support your efforts.

7th December 2023 at 7:10 am
Gudrun Smith

Feeling sad having read your comment. Hopefully Glen Gould’s estate didn’t leave a Canadian ownership. What is wrong with us? History is the backbone of our country and from which we can learn so much.
Looked for Granatstein’s Who Killed Canadian History in ‘my’ online Ottawa Library. None, sad.

7th December 2023 at 9:52 am
Michael F

The CBC named one of their performance studios after Glenn Gould. Perhaps the more accurate answer here is that it is not the mandate of the CBC or in their budget to buy the estate’s commercial holdings.

7th December 2023 at 12:39 pm
A. Chezzi

There is a saying, “those who forget their past are bound to repeat it.” Let us not forget that our forebearers made bad mistakes. They did try to eradicate the Indigenous people. They did use reserves as a means of putting an end to their culture. They did pass laws which forbade them to celebrate their culture and they did put them in institutions called schools which were nothing less than prison camps. We did shun immigrants and use them ruthlessly to build the railroad and tax them unfairly. We did put them in camps during the war unjustly, whether they were citizens or not. We did encourage them to sublimate and pass for Anglos, some changing their names to sound more waspish. Let us not forget. We don’t want to go there again and sadly, this is where some Conservatives are trying to lead us. Marilyn Gladu’s Christian Heritage bill is a fine example of this. It is a another version of the snitch line with a little more finesse. It will certainly appeal to old stock Canadians and the Con base.
As for, “Over 90 percent of professors vote for Left-leaning parties,” I would love the see the source for this. or is this just another hype which Con are famous for?

7th December 2023 at 8:54 am
Gord Edwards

I haven’t found any figures for Canada but there are such figures for the USA. The Coddling of the American Mind (2018), by John Haidt and Greg Lukianoff discuss the shift in academia since the 1990s. In 2016 the left/right ratio was generally above 10:1 in the humanities and social sciences. Economics (a social science) and the STEM fields were affected but not as dramatically. They do provide sources for their data. A good book which I highly recommend.

I see no reason to expect Canadian academia to be significantly different than the US. If anything we’d likely skew further left.

7th December 2023 at 5:59 pm
Richard Courtemanche

Blame the present government that’s destroying Canadians mentally, physically, spiritually, economically… to facilitate our transfer and the land to WEF. We are governed by saboteurs and traitors, and there appears to be nothing that can be done. How pathetic we are being led to our demise by a fool.

7th December 2023 at 1:15 pm
Michael F

I think you should seek some professional help. Your constant ranting and raving of conspiracy theories is unsettling and frankly unhinged.

7th December 2023 at 2:09 pm
Richard Courtemanche

You have to be another Liberal. You’re either indifferent to reality or don’t have a clue what’s happening.

7th December 2023 at 9:38 pm
Kal Commodore

Michael, are you aware that the leadership of the WEF brags about having secured WEF agents in our government?
There is video proof of this.

It is not a conspiracy theory.

Justin Trudeau and the Liberals have shut down investigations into their scandals.

Trudeau unethical Behavior is well documented.

There are no delusional facts here.

7th December 2023 at 4:25 pm
Michael F

Video proof? You do know that Stephen Harper attended WEF events too right? Every government has its scandals. Harper prorogued parliament to avoid a confidence vote. Was that ethical? The WEF is a forum, that’s it. It’s a bunch of policy wonks making hot air.

7th December 2023 at 4:41 pm

A friend who immigrated to Canada observed that new Canadians know more about our nation’s history than those born here, this the result of the former having to take the Canadian Citizenship Test.

He proposed a unique solution that would improve the latter group’s knowledge:

Want a passport? Take the same test that those wanting to move here have to pass.

There is merit in this approach, perhaps as part of a wider set of measures to address both a serious knowledge gap among younger Canadians and to counter the destructive narrative of those intent on tearing us apart.

7th December 2023 at 10:26 am
Kim Morton

Over the years, I have discovered that what we were taught in school was often a lot different from the facts. Largely, I think, because his story is written by the winners, and most of our school books were published in Britain.
Two things I have discovered that no one has been able to dispute is that a Canadian Identity and Multiculturalism are polar opposites. The other is that every time the extreme left demands a law saying their warped point of view is the facts, it is anything but facts. Why our tax dollars continue to support these radical left academics baffles me.

7th December 2023 at 10:00 am

Multiculturalism was an actively pursued national goal based on the notion that people from away would enrich tor culture. First generation would tend to settle in a community of the same background – bringing security and ties to tradition. The second generation, educated in Canadian schools and conforming to our ways would assimilate while still holding true to their ancestral roots. Canada is a grand and bold experiment of which I am deeply proud. But it will take real tolerance and empathy – real Canadian values- to ensure this beautiful experiment is a success.

7th December 2023 at 12:35 pm
Michael F

Well said. Thank you for posting a reasoned and thoughtful comment that is not slanted or biased with partisan language.

7th December 2023 at 12:43 pm
I don’t think anyone can yet know where multiculturalism fits into the Canadian identity. But I believe your impression they are polar opposites misses the mark. I am a 4th generation Canadian born in the 1950’s.

Well said. Thank you.

7th December 2023 at 12:29 pm
Mike Slinger

I expected to comment on the disappearance of balanced journalism. Odd segway in your link.

7th December 2023 at 5:38 pm